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PETROLEUM-Barrel rises above 56 dollars amid decline in US stocks

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, Jan 27 (.) – Crude prices rose above $ 56 a barrel on Wednesday following industry data that showed US inventories fell unexpectedly, and easing fears of outbreaks of oil. COVID-19 in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer.

* The American Petroleum Institute (API) said crude inventories fell 5.3 million barrels last week, when the forecast was for a rise. Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will be released at 1530 GMT.

* Brent futures were at 42 cents, or 0.77%, at $ 56.34 a barrel at 1038 GMT; while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 37 cents, or 72%, at $ 52.99 a barrel.

* “Oil prices are rising quite a bit this morning due to data indicating an unexpected drop in US crude inventories,” said Stephen Brennock of brokerage PVM.

* Brent is close to hitting an 11-month high of $ 57.42 a barrel it posted on January 13, having recovered from a 21-year lows of $ 16 a barrel in April, thanks largely to a surge in demand for China and the huge supply cuts agreed to by OPEC and its allies.

* Markets will focus later in the day on the outcome of the US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting. Analysts expect the central bank to maintain its ultra-flexible monetary policy to speed up the economy’s recovery.

(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)